International (MNN/ODM) — ISIS has once again proven that they’re capable of extreme savagery with a recent video depicting the gruesome executions of numerous prisoners. These violent acts serve as glaring evidence of the horrific brutality the religious extremists are capable of, and more often than not this deadly rage is directed at Christians.
However, ISIS is not the only cause of increased persecution against Christians around the world. A staggering number of Egyptian Christians are being abducted each year–up to 700 women and girls kidnapped annually.
In Pakistan, blasphemy laws have been the source of riots, attacks, and whole Christian villages being destroyed.
In Iran, in spite of the pre-election promises of the president, the persecution of Christians is unimproved. Churches can be closed down if they use the national language, Farsi, and Christians are regularly beaten and imprisoned.
As persecution spikes and countless Christians find themselves in more and more danger each day, it’s becoming clear that something has to be done, and quickly.
That’s why Open Doors is asking you to join a new movement pleading with President Barack Obama for advocacy, asking him to take action to help protect Christians across the globe. As leader of one of the most influential nations in the world, he can make a crucial difference in the fight against persecution, and here’s how.
Last summer, Congress passed a bill that would make it possible for President Obama to appoint a Special Envoy for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia within the U.S. State Department. The Special Envoy would work to publicize and combat instances of intolerance and persecution targeted at religious minorities. As of yet, the position has remained empty, and Open Doors says it’s time to change that.
Yet, appointing a Special Envoy is only a first step toward fighting global persecution. Open Doors is asking President Obama to form a plan to protect Christians in the areas where persecution is the most severe. This plan would also address the eviction of Christian populations from areas where the communities are centuries old, not to mention attempting to guarantee the safe future of young believers in persecuted areas. In other words, such a plan would protect the past through upholding ancient sites of worship, the present through the safety of Christians in today’s most at-risk areas, and the future in the lives of the children who will otherwise grow up amid severe persecution.
It’s easy to see why there’s concern. Hundreds of thousands of Christians have been forced from their homelands in Iraq and Syria, and their ancient places of worship have been demolished in the wake of their retreat. Religious extremism is at an all-time high, primarily due to ISIS and its terrifying brutality. The savagery displayed in ISIS’s executions of 21 Egyptians and 28 Ethiopian Christians, not to mention the recent capture of 88 Eritrean Christians, is more than enough cause to take action, according to Open Doors.
Across the globe, believers are facing all-time highs in the areas of persecution and religious extremism. Open Doors thinks that President Obama can help, but they need help getting his attention. Click here to join the petition and send a letter to the decision makers that can make a difference. Then keep participating by praying that God will work in the lives of our leaders, the persecuted believers, and the oppressors themselves in a way that shows them that not only is there a God, but that He’s active in today’s world in a very real way.